Folio’s Carroll service named Book Design Book of the Year

Folio’s Carroll service named Book Design Book of the Year

The Folio Society emerged victorious at the 2016 British Book Design & Production Awards last night (10th November), claiming the evening’s premier award, Book of the Year, for its reproduction of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Of the winning title, the award judges commented: “no detail has been left as standard; every element in creating this book has been endowed with the highest specification”.

The award—the last to be given out at the ceremony held at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge, central London, by host Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE—was contested by the winners of the evening’s 18 other categories; the title also triumphed in the Best British Book category. The Folio Society added a third award, in the Brand/Series Identity section, with its Folio Collectables editions. The hat-trick of gongs meant the 69-year-old publisher was the most decorated of the evening, edging out Penguin Random House and Pan Macmillan, which both collected two prizes apiece.


Penguin Press bagged the Interactive Multimedia Books trophy for its Richard Dawkins reissues, which enabled users to customise the books’ front covers by using a bespoke website to create unique patterns based on Dawkins’ theories of evolution; the creations were then printed on a personalised copy of each title. The publisher also claimed the Children’s: Trade (9–16 Years) award for in-house designer Coralie Bickford-Smith’s The Fox and Star (Particular Books): already widely decorated by a number of design awards, the title was also named as Waterstones’ Book of the Year in 2015.

Pan Macmillan emerged triumphant from the awards’ most popular category, Best Jacket/Cover Design, which had more than 90 entries. Senior designer Joanna Thomson’s colourful cover for Lisa Owens’ Not Working won the category, with the judges labelling it “a bold, eye-catching cover design that subtly subverts genre conventions, [its] apparent simplicity belies its cleverness; both in making full use of the spine—which also works graphically in isolation—and back cover, and in situating the book’s blurb, testimonies and title type within the central newspaper motif, which acts as a detachable dust jacket. An outstanding example of thinking outside of the box… and the dimensions of a ‘front cover’.” Pan Macmillan’s second win came in the Scholarly, Academic & Reference field, with An Atlas of Countries That Don’t Exist by Nick Middleton.


Over 560 submissions were considered for the annual awards, which celebrate publishing that seeks to “continuously innovate, push the boundaries and embrace new technologies in book design and production”. The awards’ five judges—sourced from fields of  print production, design, publishing, book binding and retail—awarded the competitive Best Student Book category to Aisling Lee for her creation 17 Times Over . Lee, a student from the National College of Art & Design, also won £500 and the opportunity to complete an internship in the industry.

A number of smaller companies were also rewarded, including The Fleece Press, Spitalfields Life Books, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Penned in the Margins, Zak Group and printer Generation Press.

The full list of finalists with the winners highlighted is below:

Best British Book
Richard Bawden by Malcolm Yorke (Fleece Press)
Delete A & Insert R (Geoff Neal Group)
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (The Folio Society)

Best Jacket/Cover Design
The Outrun by Amy Liptrot (Canongate)
Slade House by David Mitchell (Hodder & Stoughton)
Malaysia by Ping Coombes (Orion)
The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith (Particular Books)
Not Working by Lisa Owens (Pan Macmillan)
Zero K by Don DeLillo (Pan Macmillan)
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (Profile)

Best Student Book
Precursor by Tomas Almeida
Breathe by Diane Dear
17 Times Over by Aisling Lee
Terra Incognito by Alexandra Morehead

Brand/Series Identity
British Library Crime Classics (British Library)
The Maze Runner Series (Chicken House)
Braille Series (DK)
The Companion Series (National Portrait Gallery)
Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom (Pavilion Books)
Folio Collectables (The Folio Society)

Children’s Trade: 0–8 Years
The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins)
The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas (Kings Road)
Bob the Artist by Marion Deuchars (Laurence King)
Above and Below by Patricia Hegarty, Hanako Clulow (Little Tiger)
Nibbles by Emma Yarlett (Little Tiger)
Dog on a Train by Kate Prendergast (Old Barn)
Give & Take by Lucie Felix (Old Barn)

Children’s: Trade 9–16 Years
Outside by Maria Ana Peixe Dias and Inês Teixeira do Rosário (Frances Lincoln Children’s)
Under Earth, Under Water by Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinski (Kings Road)
Hello World by Jonathan Litton (Little Tiger)
The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith (Particular Books)
The Hunting of the Snark by Chris Riddell (Pan Macmillan)
The Complete Alice by Lewis Carroll (Pan Macmillan)

Digitally Printed Books
Inherent Madness 500Milligrammes (Hurtwood Press)
Shenasnameh by Amak Mahmoodian (Hurtwood Press)
70th (Northfield Editions)
The Half Life of Joshua Jones by Danny Scheinmann (Unbound)

Exhibition Catalogues
Barry Flanagan: Animal, Vegetable, Mineral by Jo Melvin (Pureprint)
Ai Weiwei by Tim Marlow and John Tancock (Royal Academy)
Invisible Adversaries by Lauren Cornell (Zak Group)

Graphic Novels
The Inflatable Woman by Rachael Ball (Bloomsbury)
Take it as a Compliment by Maria Stoian (Jessica Kingsley)
The Bind by William Goldsmith (Jonathan Cape)
The Pillbox by David Hughes (Jonathan Cape)
Becoming Unbecoming by Una (Myriad Editions)

Interactive Multimedia Books
iRobot (Carlton)
Ryan Hewett Untitled (DG3)
Richard Dawkins Reissues (Penguin)

Lifestyle Illustrated
Heirloom Harvest by Amy Goldman (Bloomsbury)
NOPI by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury)
Sally Clarke: 30 Ingredients by Sally Clarke (Frances Lincoln)
Perfect Imperfect by Karen McCartney, Sharyn Cairns (Murdoch Books)
Farrow & Ball How to Decorate by Joa Studholme, Charlotte Cosby (Octopus)

Limited Edition & Fine Binding
Pen, Paper & A Box of Paints by Ian Rogerson (Fleece Press)
The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes (London Review Bookshop)
Edward Lear Landscapes in Italy (Kate Holland Books)
The Cinderella of the Arts by Rob Shepherd (Oak Knoll)

CAIN by Luke Kennard (Penned in the Margins)
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (The Folio Society)
The Grasmere Journal by Dorothy Wordsworth (The Folio Society)

Photographic Books, Art/Architecture Monographs
Gloria Cortina (Aloof)
Another Green World by Alison Turnbull, Philip Hoare (Art/Books)
Concrete Concept by Christopher Beanland, Jonathan Meades (Frances Lincoln)
The Longest Way Round by Chris Dorley-Brown, Tiffany Jones (Overlapse)
Sketchbooks by Grayson Perry (Penguin)
Coffee Shop: North by Dan Saul Pilgrim (Pressision)

Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Education
Kids Get Coding by Heather Lyons, Elizabeth Tweedale (Hachette Children’s)
Oxford AQA Psychology by Simon Green, Rob Lewis (OUP)
An Adventure in Statistics by Andy Field (SAGE)
The Great Farty Slob Beast by Charlie Farley (Wacky Bee Books)

Scholarly, Academic & Reference Books
An Atlas of Countries That Don’t Exist by Nick Middleton (Pan Macmillan)
England’s Post-War Listed Buildings by Elain Harwood, James O Davies (Pavilion)
Plants from the Woods and Forests of Chile by Martin Gardner, Paulina Hechenleitner (Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh)

Self-Published Books
Curtain Call by Matt Humphrey (Curtain Call)
Bunker Research by Max Leonard, Camille McMillan (Generation Press)
Sea Journal by Lisa Woollett (Zart Books)

Trade Illustrated
Baddeley Brothers The Gentle Author (Spitalfields Life Books)
Jellyfish: A Natural History by Lisa-Ann Gershwin (Ivy Press)
The Vintage Showroom by Douglas Gunn, Roy Luckett (Laurence King)
Exploring & Tasting Wine by Berry Bros/Rudd Wine School (Lizzie B Design)
Patternity (Octopus)
Cols and Passes of the British Isles by Graham Robb (Penguin Press)